My Japanese Dream Timeline + How I Created My Own Luck 🤞

Hello everybody!

For today’s lengthy post, I will be sharing something very personal in detail. Not sure if this is oversharing already but if this blog post could help or encourage somebody out there, then I’d be so happy!

Last week, I received one of the best news I’ve had.

I have just been granted with a 5-year working visa here in Japan! I could not believe it at first! I silently prayed everyday ever since I handed my papers that it would be in the hands of a kind & generous immigration officer, lol! I remember meeting up with sensei (our visa counselor) and he told me that I might just get a 1 yr. visa (instead of my previous one, the 3 yr.) because my brother’s company was at a struggling / challenging stage at that time. My visa is sponsored under my brother’s company for almost 6 years.

When I got rewarded with this legal visa (ain’t fake news haha), I had many flashbacks. I literally cried  alone when I received the alien card (funny name lol)! Finally, all of my hard work these years are now paying off! I’ve been promoting Japanese culture for many years through my online activities and maybe this is Japan reciprocating my love for the country. Huhu, thank you universe!

Before I share my plans in the future, let me narrate in detail my humble beginnings.

Where I came from. What motivated me to never stop trying even if there were little chances for me. What fueled my drive to keep on keeping on.

So first.. let’s say hello to mini me, hehe!

I was born last 1991. The only girl, after 4 brothers. My mom used to sell life insurance. My dad worked (and still works) in the energy industry (Chemical Engineer).

We’re a big middle-class family.

I grew up with many people in the house. I was exposed to people from different walks of life. I played with our helper’s daughter (hi Nanay Rosie in heaven) and I would even eat at their house. My mom’s nanny when she was a kid also became my second mother as well (and a big source of moral support). I had many strong women to look up to when I was young. I saw my mom still working even after getting radiation therapy for her cancer. I witnessed my dad burning the midnight oil almost every day sending project proposals to different people / companies who would sadly… pay him even months after. I grew up witnessing my older brother in Japan (Kuya Eric) rebelling responsibly as he built his own path here in Japan without any financial support from anyone. I’ve lived almost all of my life struggling.. but now, I think that maybe “being challenged” is the better term.

At school, my classmates would call me as Catherine. I wasn’t the brightest. I was that C+ student who would have to study very hard just to pass. Sometimes, even with best effort.. I got mediocre results. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to improve. My English sucked a lot to the point that I would ask my brothers to correct my grammar for book reports. I wanted to improve so I tried blogging when I discovered the wonders of webpage design (through a friend’s introduction). I made my first Cardcaptor Sakura shrine website / fanlisting (lol) using Microsoft Paint. I passionately coded the website manually using notepad. I didn’t have a lot of equipment or resources, but I still felt blessed. I maximized whatever was given or gifted to me. My parents saw how I was so into computers so when I won a place in an interschool webpage design competition, they bought me a laptop (the brand was a locally-made one called “Neo”). My brother bought a second-hand wacom tablet from Japan and I used it for many years.

My preschool and highschool photos haha ~

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#Hobonichi With Me Facebook Live + Allie in Saitama + Pokemon Go!

Hi everybody!

Here’s a photospam / photo diary of what happened this weekend!

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Had an impromptu / spontaneous facebook live today!

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Here’s the Hobonichi spread output for 2 days~

You can watch the entire process here.

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Also, I just finished uploading our Tambara Lavender Park #Hobonichi video (with some clips / video snippets of our adventure) ~

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Just a random photo of this super cute icecream packaging!

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Photo of my friend Allie taking over my mini atelier / craft corner in the room!

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#Hobonichi With Me Updates + Some Realizations Recently

Hi there!

Been religiously editing videos & it feels so great to just have a creative outlet everyday. My work and my hobbies are actually almost worlds apart … & I am not complaining. I treat JLM Store 10AM-6PM everyday job as a “school” where I can learn hands-on management. At present, I am the one who is in charge of overseeing all the operations (+ heavy marketing work).  I can’t believe that the day wherein we could a hire a part-timer in the office has happened already (and she’s a super genki / cheerful 60 yr. old Japanese lady btw). I consider it as one of my milestones.. considering how small we started before.  I can still remember having some crying spells during / after work because of the pressure (self-pressure, I suppose lol) but hey, I’m still alive and smiling! These days, I am just taking everything slow (slowly but surely) even if I am forced to be fast-paced (how contradicting, haha!). Thanks to Manila team (Chichi and Kaye) for always helping me out & working with me so efficiently and effectively. I really appreciate everyone’s hard work and dedication! ^_^

Enough of work-related musings, and let’s start with the hobonichi diary updates! : ) I sound so different whenever I talk about work, haha!

Just click on the links below to go to the WIP (work in progress) videos of how I arrange my hobonichi pages with different styles.

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#Hobonichi With Me 06/16

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#Hobonichi With Me 06/15

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#Hobonichi With Me 06/14

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#Hobonichi With Me 06/12

As you can tell, I’m really, really enjoying this daily hobonichi (video) project / series. Views, shares, likes are just extra stuff for me actually.

Being able to share and practice my skills (analog + digital) = absolute happiness for Kaila ^^

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How To Overcome Your Uphill Battles (a.k.a. Surviving Your Downtime)

you can do it

This is Kaila’s how-to guide for overcoming your personal demons. May this also serve as a reminder for my future self who is bound to face more challenges in life. ^^

If you are currently facing your personal demons (or yourself is becoming a frenemie to yourself again), I hope that my 5 suggestions on how to rise up again will open up your mind. ^^

♥ ♥ ♥

1. Are you currently unhappy right now because you feel you’re not enough? Feel & analyze your feelings. Look at your problem from another perspective. Try to not listen too much from the worst critic (which can be the unhappy version of you). Imagine having a friend who is so negative and discouraging. Would you still like to listen to this friend? Be a nice friend to yourself too! We all deserve nice and positive friends! : )

Got rejected? Lost a work opportunity? Failed a test even if you’ve done your best? Well, there’s still good news! It’s not because you are lacking. It just means that maybe, some things are not meant for you this time or better yet, you have greater things in store for you coming your way! KEEP THE FAITH. Don’t let one failure to stop you just for that one time. Being rejected from something does not mean that you are not meant for something that we called “greatness”. Continue on working on your dreams and allow bumps / challenges here and there that pause you from time to time. Look at these as opportunities to learn, to improve, and to become a better person. I remember the time I failed for the first time in university. Looking back, I think that right now, I am very thankful for that “tiny bump”. I became an irregular student but I met more people (whom I wouldn’t be able to meet if I did not become an irregular student) and I got to get a better grade the second time around. No matter how cliche it sounds, everything does happen for a reason. You don’t have to dwell on your bump longer and hurt yourself more. If you make mistakes, it means that you are learning. The latter is only applicable if you are willing to accept to learn though. So do take the learnings! Those are gems! : )

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